The Sun Also Rises

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The Sun Also Rises Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next morning, Jake and Bill leave Cohn behind and board a bus to go to a small rural town of Burguete. The bus is crowded with locals, known as Basques. One of the Basques offers Bill and Jake a leather wineskin but when Jake goes to drink, he makes an accurate claxon noise and Jake spills the wine. Everyone laughs. He plays the trick again and again, fooling Jake each time. Bill doesn't understand what any of the other passengers are saying to him in Spanish, but offers his own wine, which is eventually accepted.
The need for belonging and understanding of the new culture makes vulnerable travelers of Bill and Jake. There are rules and customs for every aspect of the trip that they are unaware of. But the sight and promise of the country repeatedly restores them. The alarm claxon is a sound of war—that it startles Jake every time shows just how deeply and permanently the war has affected him.
Themes
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
Masculinity and Insecurity Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
As the bus drives through the beautiful country of fields, farms, and "sudden green valleys," the Basques teach Jake and Bill the right way to drink from a wineskin. The bus stops in a town and at an Inn Jake and Bill buy a drink and try to leave a tip, but the gesture isn't understood. Jake and Bill drink with a group of Basques, each man buying in turn. Then everyone boards the bus again.
The bus journey is full of activity and new sights. Nature surrounds them and forces Jake's eye away from his own thoughts out into the real world. Further, Jake and Bill's instincts to turn relationships into transactions—as through the tip—aren't even understood. Good service is a relationship to those people, not something you do for money.
Themes
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
Masculinity and Insecurity Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Some distance into the journey a Basque who speaks English strikes up a conversation with them, telling them of the fifteen years he spent in America, before sitting back, tired from talking "American." The bus climbs and climbs into the hills. Jake describes the landscape here as looking strange.
As the Basque man talks of America, reminding Jake and Bill of the home they are disconnected from, Jake starts to see the landscape as a bit ominous rather than beautiful.
Themes
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
Masculinity and Insecurity Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
In Burguete, they're shocked when the price of their room is as much as it would be in Pamplona. The proprietress of the inn explains that the cost is so high because it's the "big season," yet they soon discover that they're the only people at the Inn. But they feel better when they learn that wine is included in the price.
They are shocked at the high prices and feel cheated, only to discover that the high prices aren't so high after all. They are so focused on money as the basis of relationships they can't at first comprehend that it might not be.
Themes
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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They decide to order a rum punch and tell the serving girl how to make it, though Jake has to add more rum when it arrives with not enough. They have hot soup and wine for dinner, then go to bed. Jake thinks how nice it is to be in a warm bed with the wind blowing outside.
Having wanted a change of scene, Bill and Jake now try to introduce their own familiar elements, like a rum punch, into it in order to feel like they belong. Jake usually has trouble sleeping, but somehow being in nature, hearing the wind, eases his mind and makes sleep something to look forward to.
Themes
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
Masculinity and Insecurity Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon